Lessons from Adele – How to Protect Your Voice

November 3, 2011{ 12 Comments }

Adele+Image301 250x300 Lessons from Adele – How to Protect Your VoiceBritain’s chart-topping pop soul sensation Adele recently had to cancel her North American tour due to throat hemorrhaging. It’s serious enough that she’s now slated to go under the knife of a laryngeal surgeon. Yikes! Often, throat conditions are found in younger, more amateur singers as a result of strain and fatigue on the throat, and/or lack of formal training, but Adele’s condition shows that voice injury can even strike the pros.

So what could have Adele done differently to protect her Grammy-winning gullet? Well, her smoking addiction certainly doesn’t help. Neither does overuse. But aside from surgery, she shows no sign of slowing down. Hopefully she’ll be more cautious in protecting her voice and following her doctor’s advice moving forward.

Here are a few tips that we’ve compiled to help you protect your most precious instrument – your voice:

1. Drink water. Water is your friend and moisture is good for the voice. Stay hydrated. 2-3 liters a day (about 10-13 cups).

2. Warm up your voice. Even if you don’t have a performance or a rehearsal this is good practice. This tutorial offers some good and succinct tips for a proper voice warm up.

3. Don’t clear your throat. Clearing your throat is like slapping your vocal chords. Take a small sip of water and swallow instead.

4. Don’t smoke. Smoking causes larynx cancer and can cause permanent damage to the tissues of your vocal chords and your lungs. To help ensure you have healthy lungs, follow these tips.

5. Rest a hoarse throat. Listen to your body; if you feel or hear a sore or irritated throat coming on, rest, limit speaking and singing, or practice silence.

If you have a throat condition that continues to worsen, consider seeing your doctor or an Otolaryngologist right away.

What tips do you have for protecting your voice? Let us know in the comments section below.

-Molly King

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  • Ladyk

    Adele's problems stem from mis-use, in addition to over-use (google: Adele vocal folds). Vocalists, be careful how you use your instrument! Many a wonderful vocalist has suffered from using their voice in a damaging way- most notably Cyndi Lauper. Adele is so talented. I hope she finds a sustainable way to sing before it's too late.

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Agreed. One "rock" singer that always seems relaxed, no matter how high or loud he's singing, is Thom Yorke. Say what you will about the quality of his voice, but I think he's maintained his instrument and actually gotten more agile, and more relaxed. I believe he took vocal lessons when he was young (before Radiohead took off).

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin


  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    I'm once did a gig after drinking a milkshake. It was like a nasty double dairy injection straight to my vocal chords. No good.

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Sparkling water is good for hiccups, though!

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Do you use the salt?

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    "Good vocal health is a lifestyle." Great advice. There is no easy solution. Like most things, it comes down to dedication and consistent practice and health. Thanks!

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Nice. A friend of mine went cold turkey a few weeks ago. He's miserable, but staying strong!

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Thanks for all the info and wisdom! Good stuff.

  • Luke

    The guy who explains point Nr. 2 "Warm up your voice" is amazing. Check out his stuff on YouTube. What a talent he is – Dub FX – simply amazing.

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Mid-song burps are the devil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Orion-Satori/100001533411992 Orion Satori

    Screw that. It burns my throat and makes me feel crappy if I don't shoot it with water.